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2016.1005

German Professor Activates Robot in NTNU

At the Department of Electrical Engineering, you can easily spot a tall, foreign-looking man from other Asian faces. The German Professor Jack Baltes from the University of Manitoba in Canada came to NTNU this April is specialize in robot map building and positioning, intelligent control, computer vision, machine learning, etc. He got his PhD of computer science from the University of Calgary. Professor Baltes is a prolific writer and has won lots of international competition, for example, the 2016 RoboCup, the 2015 IEEE ICRA and the 2014 FIRA HuroCup WorldCup. 
Blates started studying robotics in 1996, but at the beginning, he was interested in artificial intelligence. The core of artificial intelligence is to analyze how exactly human brain works, how to make the machine more like human brain. Professor Blates took "Alpha Go" for example, the program that beat the chess champion this March, and said that this is the example that AI has won the human brain.  
When being asked the most difficult part in researching, Professor Blates said that the unknown part is the most challenging, because only when the problem pops up will the researcher know where the blind spot is. Like to simulate human vision, robot navigation through positioning, create an image, making the surrounding environment true and accurate so that the robot can accurately identify positions, these are very difficult skills, and sometimes you even have to start from scratch. 
Why he decided to come to NTNU and what are his impression about NTNU? Professor Blates smiles and said that he has known some professionals that teaches at NTNU before he came, now they are his colleagues. He has lived in New Zealand or Canada before, and this is his first time staying in Asia for such a long time. So far, he liked here very much. Although the life here is pretty different from where he used to be, students can faculties in NTNU are glad to help. He really enjoyed the hospitality of Taiwanese people. Professor Blates said that the only thing that needs to be improved is his Chinese!